PADANG BESAR: Malaysia and Thailand have reached an agreement in principle on their common border, except for an area of 8.5km in Bukit Jeli in Kelantan.
Deputy Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Hamim Samuri said an MoU on border mapping carried out by both countries since 1973 had been signed.
“The total border distance of 656.8km from Perlis to Kelantan has been completely marked except for an area in Bukit Jeli where there has been a claim dispute, resulting in discussions on that area to be shelved.
“Now we are entering the phase of signing the memorandum of agreement (MoA). When this is signed, the disputed border distance of 648.3km will be deemed as resolved,” he told reporters after looking at the area mapped by the Department of Surveying and Mapping (Jupem) here yesterday.
Hamim praised the Thai authorities for their close cooperation which enabled the border mapping and demarcation to be completed although it had taken a long time.
According to him, Malaysia and Thailand signed an MoU on border survey and demarcation based on the 1909 Treaty signed between Siam and Britain.
The land border survey and stone demarcation started in 1973 and was completed in 1985, while the survey on the permanent boundary at Sungai Golok began in November 2000.
Hamim said the border mapping and stone demarcation work was not easy as it involved some 5,000 Jupem staff, besides facing the communist insurgency in which several members of the Malaysian security forces were injured or killed while on security operations at the Malaysia-Thailand border area.
“While the demarcation stones are being overseen by Jupem to ensure they do not go missing, it is up to the National Security Council whether to build a security wall or fence along the border area,’’ he added. — Bernama.